How Loud Is
How Long Is
Frequent exposure to sound over 70 decibels (dB)
can cause hearing problems and hearing loss over time.
The louder the sound, the quicker it can cause damage.
of all teens & young adults
turn their music up TOO LOUDLY.
Comparing Your Music to Common Sounds
Average Sound Level
(measured in dB)
How It Affects
Softest sound you can hear
Very loud radio or rock concert
(inside the car)
Standing near sirens
No significant impact
You may feel VERY annoyed by the noise
Hearing loss possible
in less than 5 min.
Pain and ear injury
Protect your hearing while listening to music
• Limit your music device or headphones
to 60% of the max volume
• Take listening breaks
• Listen in a quiet place or use
• Avoid being near
• If attending a loud
concert or event, bring
As a rule of thumb...
If you can clearly hear
your music while holding your earbuds or headphones an arm’s length away, your music is probably too loud.
SOURCE: National Center
for Environmental Health
Click on the everyday sounds below the radio to view their average sound level and how they affect your hearing.
Personal listening devices are capable of reaching levels this loud